Alan Wallace, a practicing Buddhist, trained for fourteen years as a Tibetan Buddhist monk. After he was ordained by the Dalai Lama, he went on to earn an undergraduate degree in physics and the philosophy of science at Amherst College and a doctorate in religious studies at Stanford.
Asked if the Dalai Lama was an Atheist, he responded:
In the framing itself, the question is already skewed. It’s not so obvious to a person who’s totally immersed in Western civilization and has almost no understanding of anything outside of Western civilization. Frankly, so much of this antireligious rhetoric from the likes of Richard Dawkins is just wildly unconsciously and uncritically ethnocentric. Do the Buddhist themselves ask, ‘are we atheists?’ Well, I’ve never seen that question posed. In Buddhism that would be regarded as such a dumb and uninformed question that is not even worthy of a response.